Monday 24 April 2017

A Wee bit of planning would have helped Louth

Declan Byrne is among the Louth players complaining about the county having to play a Round 1 Qualifier clash with Derry six days after losing to Meath in the Leinster quarter-final. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Declan Byrne is among the Louth players complaining about the county having to play a Round 1 Qualifier clash with Derry six days after losing to Meath in the Leinster quarter-final. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Louth footballers remain angry and frustrated over having had to play a Round 1 Qualifier clash with Derry six days after losing to Meath in the Leinster quarter-final.

They were upset that it happened at all and doubly annoyed when they discovered last week that the losers of Dublin v Meath would have 13 days to recover before the next Qualifier, despite being originally scheduled for next Saturday.

"I don't believe we were treated in the same fashion as a bigger county would have been," said forward Declan Byrne. And another player who e-mailed me described it as case of "all teams being equal but some being more equal than others".

Croke Park's explanation for putting Meath v Derry back to July 9 is that two other 2A Qualifiers (Clare v Armagh/Laois) and Carlow v Tyrone/Cavan) could not be fixed for next weekend because of the re-fixture and replay. Therefore, there was no need to play Meath v Derry next weekend.

Still, the Louth players' frustration is understandable but all of this may have been avoided if the county board had responded to a Leinster Council invitation in April to bring the Louth/Carlow v Meath quarter-final forward by a week or two.

Neither Carlow nor Meath reacted either but ultimately it didn't matter to them as Louth were the only one of the trio faced with the six-day turnaround. Counties don't tend to think ahead to what happens when they lose a game so Louth's experience should serve as an example of the need to plan for every eventuality. What's more, the players should be consulted.

Irish Independent

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